Velázquez on the Tragic Crash that Killed Two Children in Brooklyn
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) issued the following statement after the tragic death of two small children, 4-year old Abigail Blumenstein and 18-month old Joshua Lew, who were killed by a driver while crossing 9th Street at 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Abigail’s mother, Ruthie Ann Blumstein who is pregnant, was also hit, but is reported to be in stable condition.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and my heart is shattered for the mothers, their loved ones and for our community. These young children had their entire lives ahead. As our community gathers in the wake of such tragedy, I share their grief and their pain.
“As lawmakers, the safety of our children must be our top priority. To this end, I had previously fought to secure funding for the Safe Routes to Schools program, which identifies schools in need of safety improvements. Specifically, I worked to get safety measures near P.S. 124, located just a block away from this horrific accident, included.
“While we know that some improvements were made, it was not enough. Knowing that our city’s pedestrian deaths have dropped feels empty when two young, innocent lives were stolen in this devastating crash. We must take immediate steps to extend the intersection’s sidewalks, give pedestrians more time to safely cross the street and increase awareness and enforcement of safety precautions.
“Though these measures may not have prevented this horrific accident, we must be sure to implement as many safety measures as possible. As more details of this crash start to surface, nothing can take away the pain of a grieving parent. However, those involved must be held accountable. To this end, the NYPD must investigate the driver’s behavior.”